How to handle your yama imo (naga imo, Japanese yam)

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Apparently that’s not obvious when you have not seen it done. So a few photos are better than a long speech.
This veggie nagaimo is slimy and if you peel it it becomes very slippery, and you may get some skin allergy into the bargain. But that’s only after it’s peeled.

You can touch the skin without problems. So with a knife, peel a length of that long potato, or the tip if it’s the round type. Like a pencil, you sharpen it as you need.

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First way.

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Grating the in the traditional way in a suribashi (mortar). and you rub it against the lines of the pottery.

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Second way, with modern graters.

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Now you can prepare tororo, okonomiyaki, negiyaki
It can also be cubed, sliced, etc, eaten raw or cooked.

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Pakuchi som tam papaya, and baby corn

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I took my mortar to prepare a little Thai style lunch around cilantro/coriander green papaya salad.

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So now we have local green papaya, let’s grate it.

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Garlic, green hot chili. Then red hot hot hot chili (very little, it’s so hot), ami ebi salty shrimps, toasted peanuts, kabosu lime juice, a little sugar, nam pla fish sauce. Then red sweet chili, green papaya, coriander leaves and stalks.

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Tam ! Tam ! Tam ! Tam !

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Fresh baby corn from Thailand.

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I’ve used it for a stir-fry. Just oil and a little garlic, to cook the white parts of negi leeks, shishito green peppers, edamame beans, then the baby corn. I garnished with sweet chili sauce.

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Brown rice.

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A nice 3 dish meal.

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Nuts, herbs and spices, that’s dukka

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I had never heard about this product. Originally from Egypt, dukka (duqqa) is a kind of spice mix used in Middle-Eastern cuisines. The quickest way to taste it was to make mine. That’s without warranty of having the authentic flavor but that doesn’t matter as long as it’s good. Some day I’ll go there to taste the original.

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Spices : black pepper, coriander seeds, raw sea salt, dry mint.
“Nuts” : sesame seeds, walnut, cashew nut.
I roasted them in 2 batches. I’ve added cumin powder and paprika powder. And in a mortar, ground finely the spices and more coarsely the nuts.

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Boiled chick peas were waiting to become hummus. I’ve added garlic, a little yuzu juice, olive oil on top.

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I eat it as a dip for veggie sticks (red bell pepper and cucumbers).

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Tororo-gohan with mitsuba. Yam creamed rice in green.

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This slimy texture is that grated nagaimo (yam) and it’s very appreciated here. It’s very hydrating and refreshing in summer. It’s called tororo.

Tororo-gohan is a traditional Japanese dish probably very ancient. The principle is pouring a cold cream made of nagaimo (yam) on hot rice.

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Like this !

Peel then grate this naga imo (yamama-imo, Japanese yam) in a Japanese mortar (that has lines carved inside) or a grater with spikes.

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You obtain the tororo texture. I simply flavor mine with a little soy sauce. Classically you make a tsuyu (soy sauce, dashi broth, mirin, slightly simmered then refreshed).

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About mitsuba.

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In the blender I’ve made a pesto of mitsuba greens.

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Pour the tororo on top of a bowl of very hot rice, add toppings and enjoy. My topping is the mitsuba pesto.
Classic toppings : ribbons of nori seaweed, aonori seaweed, raw quail egg, slices of okra, herbs…
I’ve added sesame seeds on my genmai (brown rice).

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Pesto and pop Eden salad

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That’s a pretty crunchy lunch. That’s all lightness but that was very filling. I don’t think these pink flowers are edible. They decorate South-Asian dish. Their presence gives a paradise dream touch to any dish. I picked a box on sale, and I’ve build my jungle around them.

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Starting with a bunch of fresh basil.

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Let’s pound a pesto in the mortar : basil, sesame, garlic, salt. Plus : olive oil, lemon juice.

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Rosy spring cauliflower.

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Other raw veggies : new onion, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, favas (broad beans).

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The raw vegetables marinated one hour in the pesto.

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Place the veggies on a bed of baby leaf salad and more basil leaves.

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Add freshly roasted pop corn on top. Add flowers to decorate.

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Sage pesto and coconut cream ballerina pasta

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Ballerina pasta dancing in coconut with sweet onions, mushrooms and fresh green pesto. The color of this humble pesto is light but the taste of sage is very present.

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I had a few leaves of fresh sage, so that I immediately thought about pasta.

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I simply stir-fried new onion and maitake mushrooms in coconut cream, added pepper, the al-dente pasta.

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For the pesto, I pounded sage leaves in a mortar, added salt and some coconut sauce from the pan to make it liquid.

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The pasta, served with the pesto in its mortar.

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The side dish is natto, mizuna greens with bough soy bean sprout kimchi.

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White garlic, green apple

Shiny ribbons of fruity olive oil.

That was a powerful ajo blanco.
classic grape version of this chilled soup (click here)

There was a lot of that in it. Maybe a bit too much. But after, you feel refreshed.

The first Santsugaru apples of the season. They look green but they are already very sweet.

Served directly from the mortar.